Burma Task Force Disappointed At Foreign Diplomats’ Failure To Condemn Rohingya Genocide After Visit

Yesterday, Canada’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Karen MacArthur, joined a group of 20 diplomats on a visit to Northern Rakhine state, which has witnessed widespread war crimes perpetrated against the Rohingya by Myanmar’s military. T

Burma Task Force Disappointed At Foreign Diplomats’ Failure To Condemn Rohingya Genocide After Visit

Yesterday, Canada’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Karen MacArthur, joined a group of 20 diplomats on a visit to Northern Rakhine state, which has witnessed widespread war crimes perpetrated against the Rohingya by Myanmar’s military.

Yesterday, Canada’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Karen MacArthur, joined a group of 20 diplomats on a visit to Northern Rakhine state, which has witnessed widespread war crimes perpetrated against the Rohingya by Myanmar’s military. The diplomats were invited to visit the region by Myanmar’s government on a trip intended to soften worldwide criticism of its atrocities against the Rohingya.

Burma Task Force Executive Director, Taha Ghayyur, said that he, “appreciated the initiative by diplomats to spotlight the crisis in the region, as well as the recommendations for unfettered humanitarian access, and implementation of important recommendations made by the Kofi Annan Commission.”

Ghayyur, added however that the statement by diplomats fell disappointingly short because it failed to condemn Myanmar’s military and “shockingly lacked any direct reference to the Rohingya.”

“We have reports of 12 villages being burned to the ground, and killings of Rohingya on the day before Ambassador MacArthur visited Rakhine. It is the responsibility of diplomats to be clear and factual on the crimes being committed, and not leave any room for equivocation. There is a genocide going on,” Ghayyur said.

He also said that the Task Force felt that diplomats “played into the hands of the Myanmar military by not directly identifying it as the driving source behind the devastation of nearly a million Rohingya.”

The Task Force said that in the future, Canadian diplomats should not sign on to statements that don’t explicitly condemn Myanmar’s military. Ghayyur, cited the fact that such statements contradict Canadian policy, and the explicit statements of Prime Minister Trudeau, who condemned Myanmar’s “continuing silence in the face of the brutal oppression of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim people."